They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly true when it comes to your air conditioner. While complex repairs are best left to experts, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve everyday AC issues.
Knowing how your AC works and the typical problems it faces can empower you to handle little problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you cash on minor service calls, but realizing when to reach out to a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into catastrophic repairs.
Your Air conditioner is a fundamental component of your home comfort. Because of that, you should always err on the side of caution and call a NATE-certified professional for air conditioning repair in Ballwin and St. Charles if you're unsure about any aspect of your air conditioner's operation or maintenance.
Here are a few of the frequent questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning your AC is an effective way to make sure it runs efficiently, and possibly could extend the life of your unit.
The most effective step you can take on your own is to change the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter catches dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those impurities from the air circulating throughout your home. If your AC filter becomes clogged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it ought to in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter catches the airborne debris while still allowing air to flow efficiently through the system.
Replacement filters are available at most major home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be purchased from your local HVAC professional. A good way to make sure you get the proper filter is to look at your old one before you leave for the store, jotting down the size of the filter. If you’re not familiar with filters, it’s also helpful to note the filtration level of the current filter if you are trying to buy something similar.
For detailed service of your air conditioner, contact the seasoned professionals like the crew at Air Alliance Team to do regular maintenance on your system. They’ll look over your system, clean or lubricate parts that need it and look for worn-out parts and potential problems.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to making sure your indoor AC unit is working efficiently, it’s important to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outside unit of your AC is a simple way to boost its efficiency and can extend the life of your entire system.
The coils, which have extensions called fins, are used to release heat from the refrigerant into the cooler air outside. This brings down the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back into your home so it can absorb more heat from the air inside your home. Cleaning the fins and the coils can help them release heat more effectively.
To clean your air conditioner’s fins and coil:
1) First, shut off power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to flip off the the on/off switch, as opposed to turning the thermostat off.
2) Take off the top of the outdoor AC so you can enter the insides of the unit. Then, taking care not to pull hard on any cords or attachments, safely move the top to the side.
3) Spray a cleaning solution on the fins, first at the top and moving down. Commercial coil cleaners are on the market and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as brands foaming solutions that are sprayed on with an attachment to your garden hose.
4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most cleaners, it's suggested that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a brief period of time to attack the grime and then gently spray it off with a garden hose. Be careful not to spray too hard, because that could harm the coils or fins!
5) Secure the top back on the unit and then wait for the unit to dry before turning the power back on.
3. How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?
The life span of an air conditioner depends on the type of unit, its quality, how often it's maintained and how frequently it's used. That said, pros say you should start thinking about air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.
One of the best ways to get maximum value from your HVAC is through AC conditioner maintenance. Maintenance service from Air Alliance Team features cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as changing out the dirty filter and mending any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as possible, contact us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Ballwin and St. Charles.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Selecting the right size of air conditioner for your home is crucial for achieving comfort and efficiency. Here are some elements to take into account when deciding what size air conditioner you need for your home:
- Square footage: The total area of the space you have to cool is one of the most important factors. Bigger spaces require more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes retain cool air better, which should decrease your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you reside in a hotter climate, you'll need a more powerful air conditioner compared to a homeowner living in a cooler climate.
- Number of windows: Windows can let in heat, in particular when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of people: More people in the house produce more body heat, which could influence your cooling needs.
- Existing HVAC system: The size and capability of your current system can provide a starting point for identifying what you need.
Given that the size of your AC is so important to your home’s comfort, you will almost certainly want a professional opinion. At Air Alliance Team, we take the time to completely understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other variables such as your home’s insulation level and size. This attention to detail and dedication to customer service is why Air Alliance Team is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Ballwin and St. Charles.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices fluctuate depending on the size of the unit and your home’s unique requirements, a new air conditioner generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. On the plus side, a benefit of air conditioning replacement is that new air conditioners are crafted to be extremely efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.
The price tag of an air conditioner is affected by several factors during the manufacturing process, such as the cost and availability of raw materials, manufacturing and labor costs along with federal regulations that require modifications to the design.
Realize these are average costs and prices can differ. It's always smart to get several quotes from reliable HVAC companies before making a choice. If you’re thinking about air conditioning replacement in Ballwin and St. Charles, reach out to Air Alliance Team. We will provide you with a no-cost estimate, explain the procedure and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.
6. What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?
Air conditioning freezing up can be brought on by a variety of factors, all of which boil down to the AC's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your unit is experiencing issues causing it to freeze up, it is more than likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some typical reasons for AC freezing up:
- Poor airflow: If the air isn't flowing properly through your AC system, it can't properly absorb heat. This could be due to a clogged air filter, something stopping air from flowing through the return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is getting low on refrigerant, it can get too cold and freeze up. This is frequently because of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
- Frigid outdoor temperatures: Using an air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to perform in temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Faulty thermostats, damaged blower motors and trouble with the relay or control board can all play a role in an AC unit freezing up.
Air Alliance Team is the Trusted Source for Air Conditioning Service in Ballwin and St. Charles.
At Air Alliance Team, we will make your home a comfortable and soothing place. Our skilled technicians are up-to-date on the latest industry training and trends, and are knowledgeable on a wide variety of systems. That’s why community members make us the first choice for air conditioning repair in Ballwin and St. Charles and the surrounding cities.
If you’re seeking to upgrade or its time for a new unit, we’ve got you covered there too, with our top-notch air conditioning installation in Ballwin and St. Charles. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Contact Air Alliance Team today at 636-206-4250 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!